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It's over

Revisiting one Schiano quote from Tuesday:

Schiano had this response when questioned again about the opening on the schedule: "Are you going to ask every day? What do you want me to tell you?"

With all due respect, the reason Coach is getting pestered is because this is a big deal, and reflects poorly on the Rutgers athletic department. It's the most pressing concern of their customers right now.

Now, as rumored over the past few days, Wyoming replaced Boise State on its schedule with a home and home series with Florida Atlantic. It would have been absolute lunacy to agree to those terms; that's how Rutgers got into this mess in the first place. While Wyoming on the schedule would have been a major disappointment, playing two FCS teams (and more specifically, having to pay to watch two FCS teams) is a going to upset most fans of Rutgers football. With Wyoming and FAU out of the picture, there is seemingly no other FBS team that still has an open date. That doesn't necessarily preclude further reshuffling of announced schedules.

The best change that can come out of this fiasco, is that maybe the athletic department will embrace long-term scheduling. You can't wait until the last minute, and you can't sign a home and home series with a team like Army or Florida International. Every year, Rutgers should play its conference slate, Navy (or equivalent opponent), two BCS conference schools, and two paycheck cupcakes at home. That's the setup we had for the past few years, and shouldn't have gotten away from.

It's worth pointing out that Rutgers is already in the exact same scenario for 2010: there are only 11 games scheduled, and one of them is already a FCS team. The athletic department is navigating with unique challenges here; but each of the 120 teams that play on the FBS level have their own set of problems; some have it easier, some harder. It's one thing to be patient, but months of "we're still working on it", and nothing else beyond pessimistic leaks and/or speculation from the select few outlets that the athletic department chooses to disseminate information through inevitably lead to more grumbling about this topic.

Bravo, Dr. Saturday, for decrying the loss of shame in underscheduling. It's true that these situations can stem from poor decision making at the top, but the biggest culprits are greed on the part of athletic departments, and complacency from fans who are far too willing to give away their hard-earned money.